LtCol Bowden attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in May 1999 with a B.A. in Geography. During college he was a member of the NROTC as a Marine Option and attended OCS during the summer of 1998. He was commissioned upon graduation on 26 May 1999.
Upon graduation from college, LtCol Bowden attended The Basic School in June 1999. In the spring of 2000 he started the aviation pipeline. He was a member of the training squadrons at Vance AFB in Enid, OK and NAS Meridian, MS. After receiving his Wings in December 2001, LtCol Bowden joined VMFAT-101 in MCAS Miramar, CA. He completed F/A-18 training in May 2003.
In June 2003 LtCol Bowden reported for duty at MAG-11 and joined the Snakes of VMFA-323. While at VMFA-323 he received qualifications as a Division Lead, Air Combat Tactics Instructor, Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (TOPGUN), Night Systems (LOW) and a Post Maintenance Check Flight pilot. While in the squadron he held billets as the NATOPS Officer, Schedules Officer, S-4 Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Quality Assurance Officer. While a Snake, LtCol Bowden deployed twice aboard carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and Stennis, in support of OIF and OEF.
Following his second deployment, LtCol Bowden reported to EWS in Quantico, VA in the summer of 2007. Upon graduation from resident PME he received orders to VMFAT-101.
In June of 2008, LtCol Bowden joined VMFAT-101, the Sharpshooters, as an FRS Instructor Pilot. As an instructor pilot he was qualified as a familiarization instructor, basic air to ground instructor, LAT instructor, Self-Escort Strike instructor and an air to air standardization instructor for all phases of air to air. He served as the Adjutant, Assistant training Officer, and Air to Air Phase Head during his tour with VMFAT-101.
In the spring of 2011, LtCol Bowden attended TACP School at EWTGLANT. After his designation as a Forward Air Controller, he executed orders to HQBN 1st MARDIV in Camp Pendleton, CA and was assigned as the Deputy Division Air Officer. During this tour, LtCol Bowden deployed to Afghanistan from January 2012 through October 2012 where he served as the Division Air Officer for Task Force Leatherneck at Camp Leatherneck. Upon redeployment, he resumed the duties as the Deputy Air Officer at 1st MARDIV in the G-3 until he transferred in August of 2013 to VMFAT-101 for refresher training.
In December 2013, LtCol Bowden completed his F/A-18 refresher training at VMFAT-101 and in January 2014 joined VMFA-314 in MAG-11. LtCol Bowden became the Operations Officer in February 2014 and deployed with VMFA-314 on RFF 1200 14.2 in the CENTCOM AO. On this deployment, VMFA-314 flew missions in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Additionally, he earned his Mission Commander designation on deployment. Upon redeployment, he was assigned as the Maintenance Officer in December of 2014 where he served through November of 2015. After leaving the maintenance department he served as the Executive Officer for the remainder of his tour with the Black Knights, completing a UDP to Iwakuni, Japan from January to July 2016.
LtCol Bowden reported to HQMC Aviation in August 2016 where he served as the F-35 Requirements Officer through August 2017. He was reassigned to MAG-31 in Beaufort, SC where he is currently serving.
LtCol Bowden’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Air Medal with numeral 3, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment ribbon with 4 bronze stars. He holds secondary MOS’s of Forward Air Controller and Information Management Officer. He has over 2,400 flight hours total with over 2100 in the F/A-18.